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Comment Re:Software error ... (Score 5, Insightful) 234

Couple things to keep in mind.

The civilian aircraft control system has been chronically underfunded for decades, since Reagan fired PATCO. One of the things they were on strike for was for better equipment to do their jobs better, easier, and with less stress. Even in the 80's, the computers and radars were dinosaurs best kept in a museum. Upgrades since then have always been a day late and a dollar short.

The airspace above the US is the busiest in the world, and it's just getting worse. They don't even report near-misses anymore to the media unless the pilots can see each other giving them the finger. They're that common.

Nothing will be done until 3 or 4 planes do a mid-air and the public outcry is so bad that people are ready to march on the FAA's office with torches and pitchforks. Then there will be a massive round of public firings to appease the crowd, a slight boost in funding to the FAA, followed by further deregulation of the airlines.

Personally, with all the deregulation already, I'm surprised more planes don't shed parts along the way.

Comment Re:Datamining (Score 1) 193

No, but you have more options to turn it off.

You'll probably want to peruse the firewall rules after you are done turning off the dozen or so switches in the privacy settings screen and once you've combed through the gp settings.

I solved the data mining issues by staying with Win 7. It is more than adequate for doing the things that I need Windows for.

Only thing I use Windows for these days is Kindle for PC. And once I figure out where they stash the serial number for it, I'll probably stop even using my XP under Virtualbox. See, I get a lotta books off Amazon, but I don't use a real live Kindle here, I pull the books down with Kindle for PC, run them through Calibre, and load them on my 'Ebay special' Aluratek reader. Some of those I gotta strip the DRM from in Calibre, and that takes the K4PC serial number.

Comment Re:Long time *NIXer considering switching to Windo (Score 1) 193

I guess they will have a clean, no data spying, enterprise version, and a consumer version which is the current Windows 10.

I expect the enterprise version will have one king hell hefty pricetag. I also expect all the data collected by the consumer version to be mined, resold, remined, resold again, repackaged, once more resold, ad nauseum. MS is going to have to make up for that revenue stream somehow or the stockholders will shitcan the front office fucks and install a new set that will. 'Free upgrade'? From Microsoft?

Comment Re:So, in other words, (Score 1) 193

Well Microsoft have said explicitly that you won't, so no.

I think Microsoft is happy with the revenue from their "PC tax", the fact you'll have to buy a PC every few years to run modern applications should be enough to ensure they get roughly the same revenue from Windows as before. That said, they've also been giving Windows away for free on low cost devices lately, so they're obviously planning to tap into other revenue streams.

Subscriptions for operating systems though? Nah.

Microsoft has never given anything away for 'free'. The techies in the back room might come up with some really cool stuff, but the marketting wonks in the front office will override them. See Vista. The betas were chock full of cool stuff, like the first runs of the new replacement filesystem for NTFS. When deadline came, the marketting wonks declared the new fs wasn't ready for prime time and had the techies pull it and put NTFS back in. Every time they changed the specs, the techies had to revert and recode, and the marketting wonks kept pushing a moving target at them. Vista is THE prime example why you don't let the wonks design the system.

My little brother was in the beta program for 10. Kept telling me, 'Cool new features, dood!', but when the release came out and swamped our connection for a couple days, it made me question things. They were updating 4 laptops and a couple desktops, so it took a bit. And the new browser ran glue slow until he had surfed enough to teach it what he liked to look at so it would prefetch enough to start speeding up. Give it a few weeks or so, it'll be useable again for him.

My biggest impression so far is, the 'free' update is the skeleton of the OS, the marketting wonks and beancounters signed off on enough of the basics to make the release. The meat and skin will be coming later, now that the pressure is off the techies to ship it NOW.

Comment Re:Goodbye to Affordable Drones (Score 1) 164

Say good bye to affordable drones for hobbyists. Now all drones will have to have a gps module, an altimeter, a microcontroller, and a microprocessor capable of processing all this, extensive software to handle all of this data, .... .

Instead of safety legislation, lets just hold individuals who misuse drones accountable when they do something stupid.

I dunno, sounds like some nifty hardware to void the warrantee on. Hey, the 'good stuff' isn't gonna come outta Colorado by itself, ya know...

Comment Re:file transfer (Score 1) 466

anonymous reader says the floppies are dodgy. If she/he could load new software on it, he/she could copy the files off of the disk, too. The problem is to do it with the software and hardware as-is.

Backing up a 160 meg drive to 1.44 meg floppies is gonna be time consuming. Best get a USB disk box that will fit a 2.5 form factor IDE hard drive and plug it into the USB port of a modern computer. The filesystem would be easily readable on just about anything, it'd be FAT16 for Win 3.x.

Now, if the hard drive is damaged, you're screwed...

Comment Re:well under the gop healthcare plan you may want (Score 1) 88

well under the gop healthcare plan you may want to be in prison if you need anything high cost and you have an preexisting condition

Except these days, most prisons are privately owned and run under government contracts. Their track records speak volumes. They're not gonna spend a dime they think they don't have to to stay profitable. See this, this, and just for the hell of it, this. Further examples can be googled of course.

Comment Re:Um, duh? (Score 1) 224

Solar can't do base load due to transmission issues. Transmitting power to the other side of the planet is non-trivial.

But a small part of making orbital solar work is transmitting power down from orbit.

More fundamentally; the only reason to insist solar do baseload is quasi religious.

It all depends on how many power sats you want in orbit, and what those orbits are. A single monster sat beaming down to one rectenna is probably NOT the way to do it. Several power sats in varying orbits, beaming to multiple rectannae is a damned sight closer. Keep in mind that the further out the orbit is, the longer the 'day' the satellite sees. At geosync, the Earth occludes a sat for only a couple hours a day. Shift to a sat 20 or 30 degrees away, and you can hit that rectenna no problem.

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.